Proper Subject for
Baptism may only be administered to a subject with the ability to repent, believe the gospel, and answer God with their own conscience; and they must specifically and intelligently do so.
Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ are prerequisites to baptism (Acts 2:38; 8:37); so the subject must be of sufficient age, ability, and conviction to repent of sins and comprehend the Person of Christ and the elementary points of the gospel, and must actually do so. This precious verse of inspired Scripture (Acts 8:37), given by the Holy Ghost through Luke, answering the eunuch’s question from verse thirty-six, has been removed by deceivers from modern versions to protect the ancient heresy of infant baptism.
Let the gospel order be understood without confusion or rebellion – faith must exist before baptism (Matthew 3:1-12; 21:32; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:12; 16:14-15,31-34; 18:8; 19:4; 22:16; Gal 3:26-27; Eph 4:5; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 6:1-2; I Peter 3:21).
Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God (I Peter 3:21), so the subject must soundly profess a personal interest in the Person and work of Christ as the means of his redemption from sin and his eternal salvation. The pagan concept of Godparents, unknown in the Bible, cannot and does not satisfy this requirement.
Baptism is of repentance for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), so it requires the fruits meet for repentance that John demanded (Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24). The subject must repent of publicly known sins in order to qualify for baptism (Luke 3:7-14; 19:7-9). Paul’s initial efforts with any sinners required repentance (Acts 20:21; I Thessalonians 1:9-10).
No infants were baptized in the New Testament. This case has been closed for two thousand years. It is only the combination of Satan’s desire to defraud Jesus Christ, silly women loving superstitious rites for their children, and ungodly men seeking to take such women captive that resulted in this abominable practice (II Cor 11:3-4; II Tim 3:5-9).
A child as young as five would have to be exceptional to be baptized, for God does not give them much credit for understanding (Genesis 2:25; 3:7; Leviticus 27:5-6; Numbers 14:28-32; Deuteronomy 1:39; Jonah 4:11).
The Scriptures require that the man who baptizes be an ordained teacher in the church. This point is easily confirmed by reviewing the record of the early church in the book of Acts. It was only the apostles or other ordained teachers who baptized in the New Testament.
The essential elements of the gospel that must be believed prior to baptism center around the Lord Jesus Christ and His role as the Son of God and the only Saviour from sin. It is the Person of Jesus Christ that is the basis of true doctrine.
Baptism is an immersion of the subject completely under water. This is done to represent (show a likeness or figure of) the burial and resurrection of Christ, which put away our sins. As everyone knows, a thing is neither buried nor planted with only a sprinkling. Baptism must provide a figure of the resurrection of Christ, which is only done by immersion.
Baptism does not put away sin. It is only a figure of how our sins were put away by Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism is simply an answer and testimony to God for what He did by Himself. It is the answer toward God of a conscience made good by the blood of Christ.